There's been a female hen harrier at Fowlmere since the middle of December, but it wasn't until last week that I managed to catch sight of it, and it was definitely worth the wait! There's a brilliant photograph of it on the Cambridge Bird Club website, taken from Reedbed Hide. My best view so far was yesterday afternoon.
I met up with Doug in the early afternoon. He wanted to visit various sites around the reserve with a view to planning future activities, while I just wanted to walk around the reserve with someone who really knows his birds!
Having looked at various projects, we ended up in Drewer Hide, where there were already several people waiting. It wasn't too long before the hen harrier appeared, and she certainly put on a decent show for us for quite a while, flying low over the reed beds, sometimes less than 50 metres away. Sometimes she'd settle, but after quite a short time she'd reappear.
It was a bit dark for me to try to photograph her. My camera doesn't have an enormous zoom lens, so anything even slightly far away is only worth trying for if the light is really good. I just relaxed and enjoyed watching this magnificent bird!
Very exciting Rob! I'm taking a trip up to Fowlmere on Sunday so hopefully she'll be about and be putting on a bit of a show then. Anything else exciting about at the moment on the reserve?
Hi Daniel. It's actually a little quiet right now, though there are usually 10 or a dozen teal, which are very pretty, and in the last week or so I've seen flocks of about 20 goldfinches, a tree creeper, a male bullfinch and a couple of common snipe apart from all the usual small birds you'd expect to see and hear.
I've seen the hen harrier at midday and also around 3.30 to 4 pm. Good luck!
Thanks for the info Rob. To see a Bullfinch too would be great I'm yet to see one! I'm looking forward to my visit as I haven't been to Fowlmere for a fair few months but on that occasion saw a great display put on by 3 Hobby and also a Marsh Harrier.